Raced In New Zealand In Search Of A Dead Lift Rubber > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Embattled New Zealand look for a lift in dead rubber

Winning and losing in sport has a lot to do with confidence. But such is the unpredictable nature of sport that even one failure, on occasions, could beat the athlete down or sow seeds of self doubt. And self doubt leads to vulnerability. The New Zealand cricket team is paddling through such a phase.

At home, New Zealand had lost just two ODI since losing to South Africa in 2014-15. However, just ahead of the World Cup in England this year, New Zealand received a severe jolt as they slid to losses in the first three games of the five-match ODI series against India.

The formidable Indian side has exposed quite a few weaknesses ahead of the mega event. The home side is losing too many wickets upfront, the batsmen have generally struggled to play the spin twins - Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. In the third ODI at Bay Oval, New Zealand lost their way after being in a relatively decent position at 178 for 3. And to make matters worse, barring Trent Boult, rest of the bowlers haven't offered much of penetration.

One of the few batsmen who showed the willingness to wade through the early phase and handle the spin duo with a degree of confidence was Ross Taylor in the third ODI. The mainstay of the line-up played with an open stance to cover for the over the wicket angle from Kuldeep and succeeded.

In an effort to put up an improved show in the dead-rubber in Hamilton, the hosts have rung in the changes. Todd Astle, the legspinning all-rounder, and Jimmy Neesham, the seam-bowling all-rounder, replaced the misfiring pair of Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi. Astle, who has picked up seven wickets in ODIs, has shown in the past that he can handle pressure situations well. The point can be capsulised by how the legspinner handled the challenge of bowling with a damp ball in a List A game for New Zealand A against India A to pick up four wickets in Visakhapatnam in 2017.

Meanwhile, India seem to have most of the bases covered. Even with Virat Kohli being rested for the final two games, the Asian nation would be confident of continuing their winning momentum under the leadership of Rohit Sharma. The impressive Shubman Gill, who averaged over 60 in List A games during the Indian domestic season in 2018-19, would look to showcase his skills.

The Indian camp would also be pleased with the all round show put up by Hardik Pandya on his return to the Indian side at Bay Oval. The fourth ODI also provides another chance for India's slightly vulnerable middle order batsmen to make an impact. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami, who has been in prime form in the series, would look for another fine show as he continues to press for a regular spot in the Indian side for the World Cup.

When: New Zealand vs India, 4th ODI at 07:30 AM IST / 02:00 AM GMT / 03:00 PM LOCAL

Where: Seddon Park, Hamilton

What to expect: The track at Seddon Park is generally good for batting with teams preferring to chase, evidenced by the side batting second winning the last four ODIs played at the ground.

Teams

New Zealand

Colin Munro has misfired in the series so far but he could get one more opportunity to make his presence felt. Jimmy Neesham and Todd Astle are in line to play the fourth game.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(w), Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Jimmy Neesham, Todd Astle/Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

India

Gill is set to play with Kohli being rested for the last two matches, while MS Dhoni may return to the side after sitting out of the third ODI due to a sore hamstring. India also could be tempted to give Mohammed Siraj a chance in a dead-rubber contest.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik/MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami/Mohammed Siraj

Did you know

- New Zealand have won six of their last seven ODIs in Hamilton, with their only loss coming against South Africa in 2017.

- Rohit Sharma will be playing his 200th ODI. Only two players had a higher run aggregate than Rohit's 7799 after 199 ODIs - Virat Kohli (8767) and AB de Villiers (8520).

- Trent Boult needs three more wickets to become the second bowler after Daniel Vettori to capture 100 wickets in ODIs played in New Zealand.

What they said

"We just weren't able to capitalise when we were in a semi-dominant position. But credit to India - when they've batted, we haven't been able to get wickets to put them under pressure" - Ross Taylor

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